How to identify genuine seed.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Have you ever been a victim of fake seed? If not, you are lucky. Some farmers have run into huge losses after planting fake seed leading to poor performance. The seed is of low quality and it could also be infected with diseases. Sometimes it is packaged in material resembling that of reputable seed companies to confuse the farmer.   Seed certification is important as it is the process through which the government gives quality assurance on the seeds available to farmers.  The purposes of seed certification are:

  • To ensure that seed sold to farmers meets minimum government set quality standards so as to maximize their crop production.
  •  ii. To promote seed trade (locally and internationally) by complying with set regulations/ agreements.
dsc 0092 Copy
Potato seed

 Seed certification in Kenya is guided by the Seeds and Plant Varieties Act (Cap 326), which empowers the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Agriculture to make regulations governing seed certification. The Seeds and Plant Varieties (Seeds) Regulations have provisions for labelling as a quality assurance measure. Kenya Plant Health and Inspection Services (KEPHIS) introduced “Sticker” Seed labels for use on seed packets 5 kg and below.

 The label contains the following information:


· Serial number

 · Concealed number

· SMS code 1393

A farmer can check if the seed is genuine by following the following steps upon purchase of seed:

 1. Scratch the label to reveal the scratch code (number).

 2. Send the number as an SMS to 1393. The farmer will receive feedback if the seed is genuine or not. The SMS is free of charge. In case of difficulties in using the system, negative feedback or any other complaints on seed quality, farmers are encouraged to contact KEPHIS.

 To be on the safe side as a Farmer:

  • Purchase seed only from licensed seed sellers.
  • Obtain an official receipt on purchase of seeds.
  • Do not buy seeds with tampered packets.
  • Keep the receipts and empty seed packets throughout the growing season for reference in case of complaints.
  • Report to KEPHIS immediately after anomalies are observed in the seed or resultant crops.
  • Report any strange diseases or pests to KEPHIS and agricultural extension staff.

Share your views about this story

Related stories

Subscribe to Kilimo News

Get the latest agriculture news in East Africa

Ethanol smuggler using maize arrested

Two traders have been intercepted while trying to smuggle 6200 litres of ethanol while  concealed  in  maize and  wheat bran bags. Stephen  Njuguna Kironji, owner of goods and Kenneth Karanja Kimaku who was the driver of a motor vehicle registration number KCG 865K. The driver was arrested on 13th June 2021 in Kinangop area along Nakuru Nairobi Highway and the owner was arrested at Mugumu Police Station where the vehicle was detained. The customs duty of the goods is  Kshs 2,571,924. The 30 drums of ethanol were concealed inside their Isuzu lorry using 46 bags of maize and 37 bags of wheat bran which were neatly arranged at the rear and side doors. Before their arrest, the two failed to produce importation documents, a licence or registration by KRA, and which are a requirement to import excisable goods such as ethanol. The suspects were charged with three counts relating to tax evasion on Tuesday 15th June 2021 before Engineers Law Court Resident Magistrate Hon Rawlings Musiega. They faced charges of; fraudulent evasion of payment of duty, importation of Excisable goods without a licence or being registered and that of conveying uncustomed goods. The charges are offences under various sections of the East African Community and Customs Management Act 2004, the Excise Duty Act No 23 of 2015 and Excise Duty (Excisable Goods Management System Regulations 2017. They denied the charges and were released on a bond of Kshs 300,000 and a surety or a cash bail of Ksh 150,000 each. In order to import excisable goods such as ethanol into Kenya, importers are required to pay customs duty for the

Read more »